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“Joint” Sessions: Marijuana Fills Future Attorney General’s Office

Jeff Sessions Joint Cannabis Now Magazine
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“Joint” Sessions: Marijuana Fills Future Attorney General’s Office

If “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” as Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions asserted earlier this year, what kind of monster would smuggle the devil’s plant into Sessions’ own office and proceed to roll joints?

That was the stunt engineered last week by about two dozen Washington, D.C. marijuana activists, who have made shadowing Sessions a bit of a hobby since the early supporter of Donald J. Trump was tapped to lead the new president’s Justice Department as attorney general.

The notion of Sessions as AG isn’t inspiring much confidence among cannabis advocates and is creating serious uncertainty in the billion-dollar marijuana industry.

But at least for a day, Sessions’s people were hands-off.

Marijuana is legal in Washington, D.C., but not on federal property. As it happens, much of D.C. is federal property, including the U.S. Capitol and senators’ offices. Mere marijuana possession on federal property is a crime, regardless of what state (or federal district) you may find yourself in.

But, as U.S. News & World report pointed out, Sessions’ staffers declined to call the cops on the activists who smuggled weed past a security checkpoint by stuffing it in their socks — not when they pulled enough out in Sessions’s office to scent the place with terpenes, not when they rolled a joint and offered it to Sessions’ people (they declined, politely), and not when they left some crumbs behind on the lobby floor.

Which was exactly the point the cannabis advocates were trying to make.

“If you’re not going to arrest people in your own office who bring marijuana… why would you break down people’s doors as a federal policy?” D.C. Cannabis Campaign organizer Adam Eidinger asked, as U.S. News & World report recounted.

Just how the Trump Administration plans to handle the country’s burgeoning marijuana industry is an open question.

Trump’s onetime favorite for attorney general, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once vowed to undo Colorado’s nation-leading recreational marijuana industry by enforcing federal statutes outlawing the plant.

As U.S. News and many other outlets point out, the American cannabis industry stands on a sort of three-legged stool — with one leg already missing. Despite overwhelming public support, marijuana manages to wobble unsteadily on a nonbinding Justice Department memo, and a temporary budget restriction that Congress needs to renew every year.

The Cole Memo, an advisory penned by a deputy attorney general, states merely that the Justice Department is disinclined to use limited resources on enforcing federal marijuana law — but it certainly can.

And though the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to the federal budget removes DOJ funding for any law enforcement operation against a marijuana user or business that follows state law, there’s nothing stopping zealous feds from going after someone acting outside of state law.

Trump himself suggested during the campaign that he’d let the states do as they wished — once telling a national police organization that he’d update federal law to reflect the states, rather than insist on enforcing the Controlled Substances Act.

Then again, Trump said a lot of things on the campaign trail.

At press time, there was no word as to what happened to the crumbs left on Sessions’s floor.

TELL US, do you think that stunts like this help to advance cannabis reform?

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